Gecko Gear Pro-Sleeve 15
A debut product for the TechCast Network from our friends over at Gecko Gear in far away land Australia. They’ve sent us the Pro-Sleeve 15 for the MacBook Pro. Before you start to think, “Oh no, not another sleeve review!”, the Pro-Sleeve is significantly different from what you typically find in this type of product in both design and materials used.
The Gecko Pro-Sleeve is available for both the MacBook Pro and MacBook editions so fear not MacBook owners, this review applies to you just as much as me.
What’s the difference?
Typical sleeves on the market today consist mainly of neoprene materials and are limited to simply storing your notebook with little room for anything else. There’s also the protective qualities of these sleeves, whilst they protect your notebook from dirt, scratches and the occasional light bump, anything more serious renders them useless.
Gecko have taken a different approach to the design of this sleeve. It’s different because it’s made of ballistic nylon, if you read on to the next section you can learn more about why this sleeve is different from others and why I like it so much!
What is ballistic nylon?
This material was originally designed to be used in flak jackets for airmen in World War 2. It was the stuff that protected you from being shot and wounded, hence the word ballistic in the name. It didn’t work that well back then but it was the best they had, nowadays we use Kevlar in bullet proof jackets.
Since its inception and original concept, ballistic nylon is now used for protecting the gadgets of today from laptop bags to camera cases and even our luggage. This tough and thick material has really good protective properties, which will keep your precious items safe from harm, providing of course you’re not intending to get shot then you’ll be fine. It also has a high quality appearance with a nice texture-feel to it.
What else does it do?
Open up the zipper and you will find a document holder in the top portion of the sleeve. Enough to store your important papers and perhaps slim accessories such as your Apple Remote or a Nano will find itself quite welcome in this pocket. Having the internal document pocket is a nice addition, which you seldom see in sleeves due to the whole point of a sleeve being slim-line. However, the Gecko Gear people have managed to fit one in so you can store your documents, just as long as you don’t want to take your filing cabinet with you, then this small pocket is a handy thing to have around.
The exterior of the sleeve has bump absorption strips for added protection. In the event you do experience a knock or a drop then these strips that cross the sleeve diagonally will help take some of the abuse and transfer it over the surface of the cover. This doesn’t mean you can start pounding it against a brick wall, but it adds to the protective qualities of this sleeve and that can only be a good thing.
With a hard exterior, I also found that I could use this as a document folder just on its own. You couldn’t do this with a neoprene sleeve because the whole thing would just bend and flex resulting in creased paper work. If you’re like me and your a student who still carries paper work around with them on the odd occasion then the Pro-Sleeve does have a multi-purpose use.
What did I think of it?
I have to admit, it’s one of the best sleeves I’ve used in a long time. For the times when I don’t want to be carrying a laptop bag with me, the Gecko Pro-Sleeve will probably be my first choice since it’s capable of having that extra storage pocket that you often find missing when you need it.
You can even use your Mac whilst it’s inside of the sleeve. The zipper that keeps the whole thing tied together unzips all around so you can open the lid all the way back and use the Mac whilst it’s still in the sleeve. I can see that being effective in some situations where you need quick access without messing about trying to fit in to a neoprene sleeve. On some sleeves its like trying to fit in to a pair of jeans that are a size too small. Not so with the Gecko Pro-Sleeve. Just zip it back up!
A minor suggestion for a future revision would be to include two zippers rather than just the one. It would be convenient being able to reach for both sides to shut the sleeve rather than pulling the one zip all the way around. That is probably the only criticism I have against this sleeve.
Cosmetic wise, it’s pretty plain and basic, nothing bold or screams ‘look at me!’, but that’s a good thing because you don’t want people to eye up your Â£1000+ equipment. The discrete design has just one marking with the green Gecko badge that is nicely put on but other than that it’s a basic design that still looks nice.
How does it fare?
Just two minor modifications I would make if I could go back to the drawing board on this one. That would be to add another zipper and some kind of lining around the edge of the sleeve to prevent the teeth of the zip from scratching your Mac. I didn’t experience any scratching incidents but I do worry sometimes that if I haven’t placed my Mac perfectly in position then that might happen.
These are minor issues that are easily forgotten about or ignored, so I wouldn’t worry about spending the $49.95, it’s a reasonable price and in line with what everyone else is charging for a high quality sleeve.
So on the TechCast Network awesome-ness scale, it rates 9 out of 10. The Gecko Pro-Sleeve 15 gets the TechCast Recommended Award. Go buy it now from gecko-gear.com